27 responses

  1. Robert Chen
    March 22, 2012

    Thanks Tony. I am glad you enjoy the site.

  2. Chelsea
    December 26, 2012

    I started thinking about how I cant go to graduate school. It doesn’t fit in any of those three categories because the limiting factor is money. Sure I could try for scholarships but money sometimes is another category of cant.

    • Robert Chen
      December 29, 2012

      Hi Chelsea,

      Thank you for reading this article.

      There are people out there without money who go to graduate school. In your case, it is not that you can’t go to graduate school, you just don’t know how to get into graduate school without money. The question is what are you going to do about it? When you remove “can’t”, you are left with options such as making enough money to go to grad school or finding out how to secure a scholarship or perhaps depending on your reasons for going, even self schooling.

      If you don’t want to go through the trouble of doing all that, than maybe you don’t really want to go to grad school which is fine because you alone should make the decisions for your life. There are no right or wrong answers.

      Let me know if that makes sense.

  3. anita
    January 17, 2013

    hi chen.. loved your blog. and nothing is inflated or plain flattery. they make sense and ring with truth, most of all, they can be put to use. great insights. thank u..keep up the good work!

    • Robert Chen
      January 17, 2013

      Hi Anita,

      Thank you for your kind word and it makes me happy to hear that you found the article useful.

      • ryan
        August 30, 2013

        What if you cant walk because your paralyzed from the neck down?

      • Robert Chen
        August 31, 2013


        Thank you for your question. If I may, I’ll generalize your question as how does someone who has a physical inability outside of their control fit into the model of this article.

        I compare this example to the fact that none of us can fly. We can easily say “I can’t fly” or we can say “I don’t know how to fly in my condition”. We are physically incapable of flying on our own but at the same time, there are people constantly challenging that idea. Whether it’s with airplanes, jet packs or special suits, we can fly.

        I don’t see someone who is paralyzed from the neck down as someone unable to walk. I see them as not knowing how to walk while being paralyzed. Perhaps, one day they’ll invent prosthetics that connect to the brain to allow paraplegics to walk.

        What really matters is your outlook. People who use “can’t” give up their control of the situation. People who don’t use “can’t”, find ways to overcome.

        I hope this helps.

  4. ryan
    September 5, 2013

    Hey! Thank you for reading my question. I wasn’t meaning to sound sarcastic if I did. My brain usually finds a way to question things. So I was really wanting to know your opinion on that. Thanks again it really helped.

    • Robert Chen
      September 6, 2013

      No worries Ryan. It’s great to question things and to be curious. It didn’t come off sarcastic at all. Discussions like these add more value for the other readers of this article. Thank you for making that happen.

  5. ryan
    September 7, 2013

    I just wanted to say thank you again. Your website really inspired me. It changed the way I think of things. Like I feel like there’s nothing that can stop me from doing what i want to do in life. Your right thought saying you can’t. It really destroys your creativity.

    • Robert Chen
      September 8, 2013

      Thanks Ryan. I’m happy to hear that you found this article helpful.

  6. james
    September 25, 2013

    Ok I have a question. What if you can’t dance,sing or draw?

    • Robert Chen
      September 27, 2013


      Thank you for your question. Is it that you can’t do those things or you just don’t know how? If you took dance lessons, I believe you’ll be able to dance.

  7. Karen
    September 23, 2014

    Thank you Robert for your article on I can’t. I never looked at it in that way. I am lost for what I want to do and everything I think about I get the I can’t do that response. So starting today I’ll be working on removing I can’t from my vocabulary and start using I don’t know how to, I don’t want to or I don’t believe I can. And I won’t just choose one of those three options I’ll work on whichever one I choose. Thank you!!!

    • Robert Chen
      September 23, 2014

      Karen – thank you for sharing. This simple shift in thinking has helped me tremendously. It gives me the courage to do things I would otherwise talk myself out of.

  8. Joy
    December 23, 2014

    Hi Robert, you have avoided to explain how to change a belief by stating “The easiest one of the three to overcome is if you don’t believe you can because all you have to do is change your belief which takes about one second and can be done without getting up from your chair.”
    Can you kindly suggest an easy and effective way to change beliefs? Beliefs are deep rooted in sub-conscious mind and therefore the toughest to replace. And you it takes one second. Kindly elaborate and explain

    • Robert Chen
      December 23, 2014

      Hi Joy,

      Thank you for your question. It sounds like we may have a different definition of the word “belief”. What you suggest as being deep rooted in the sub conscious mind, might be what I consider as “values” which do take time to replace. My definition of “belief” in this article is the conscious decision you make to change how you’re interpreting the stimulus that you’re dealing with.

      If you’re open to it, please share a belief you would like to change and I can walk through how I might change that belief. You can email me if you don’t want to share it openly.

  9. Joy
    December 27, 2014

    Hi Robert, thanks for your response. I didn’t understand what you meant by your definition of “belief”. As per the normally accepted meaning, a belief is a belief. It’s a strong, inner feeling. It is something we hold as being true, like a conviction. If it’s a negative one, it holds us back. If it’s a positive one, it facilitates growth & abundance. Here we are concerned with the negative beliefs. To answer your question and in the context of your article, what resonates with “I can’t” are beliefs like “I am not good enough”, “life is hard”, “one has to work hard to be rich” etc
    Can you kindly walk me through to change any of these beliefs? Also I would appreciate if you could provide me your email id. How can I purchase your book, its not in any store, only on amazon though

    • Robert Chen
      December 29, 2014

      Hi Joy,

      You can contact me through here – http://www.embracepossibility.com/contact/

      As for your belief, a question I’ll ask you is what makes your belief true. What are you basing your current beliefs on? We tend to pick up beliefs through our parents, our culture, our teachers and society but they are usually just picked up. There is no evidence backing them up and we feel convicted only because we’ve believed it for so long without challenging why we believe this ideas or truths.

      When you say “I’m not good enough.” or “Life is hard.” who says it has to be this way? You have free reign to choose whatever belief you want and this might be difficult for you because you believe that you can’t change your beliefs on a whim. What you believe will act as a filter for how you interpret the world around you. If you believe that one has to work hard to be rich, that’s what you’ll see. You’ll begin to discount lottery winners or those who were born rich.

      It’s not easy to think of your beliefs as whims but in some ways that’s what they are. If you look at beliefs as unsubstantiated conclusions, you should choose the beliefs that will make your life easiest because it doesn’t make sense to make it hard.

      Here is an example that might help you to think differently – if a stranger tells you that your clothes are ugly, you might brush them off as old-fashion or crazy. If your best friend told you the same thing, you might think twice. At the same time, you may believe your clothes are not ugly at all and you have the choice to choose whichever belief you like. You don’t have to take their beliefs about you as truth.

      I’m sorry if this wasn’t very clear. It’s hard to explain something like this without a conversation. I hope it’s helpful to you.

      At the current moment, the hardcopy of my book is only available on Amazon.

  10. Joy
    January 5, 2015

    Hi Robert, there is no point in writing to you through “cotnact me” (as per the link you had sent) because you don’t respond; twice I had written to you. Can you kindly refer to my previous note, wherein I had asked you how to identify the hidden beliefs which govern our lives, and how to remove them. They are so deep rooted that just to know “consciously” that these are merely”made up” or “stories” or “not true” does not help replace them with positive and life enhancing ones. Pls guide.

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